Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Jane Austen Festival - Did you miss it?

Report by Belle from Belle, Book and Candle

Two friends showing off parasol and bonnet

The fans were aflutter this last weekend at the Jane Austen Festival held on the grounds of Locust Grove Historic Home. It was a lovely setting - hot but with plenty of shade and an occasional cool breeze.

I arrived just after the gates opened at 10 a.m. - the gates being four women on either side of the entrance collecting the $12 fee and giving directions to parking. It all went very smoothly and within minutes I was surrounded by women and men dressed in Regency fashions. Bonnets and reticules and Empire-waisted frocks abounded. It was really quite delightful.

This handsome couple was visiting from Canada

Cute Nora Sweeney. Isn't she perfect?

On the grounds women and men paraded about among the trees and sauntered in and out of the tents set up as shops selling all sorts of period jewelry, parasols, floor cloths, bonnets and hats, and chatelaines. Some folks rested at picnic tables. I found a nice long bench in the shade of the house and just people-watched for a while.

The large main tent was set up with chairs and hosted a play, a Regency fashion show, and a entertaining presentation called "Dressing Mr. Darcy" in which a handsome young man, Brian Cushing, deconstructed what men wore in Ms. Austen's time: the hat, the cravat, the waistcoat, the braces (suspenders), the undershirt, the pants, socks, and boots.

Mr. Darcy Before...

One mode of transportation - the sedan chair

Read more about the paper marbling demonstration, the style show and other photos here.

I chatted with some of the Jane-ites and discovered they were from as far away as Ontario, Canada and Dallas, Texas. Others were from closer to home, Columbus, Ohio and Frankfort, Kentucky. Most of the ones I spoke with had previously attended this festival, now in its sixth year.

The event organizers are to be applauded. It was a very civilized and elegant affair.

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